UPDATE: Oh, Oh, Oh, but stolen guns are NOT a problem;
And South Dakota as a whole has also seen a rise in the amount of stolen guns reported recently as well. Data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives showed stolen guns recovered in the state rose from 252 in 2014 to 796 in 2020.
As we know, it seems lately Sioux Falls has become a fine place to pop off guns. We also know that most criminals don’t go through the trouble of background checks to get a gun. Normally it is done illegally and an easy way to get a gun illegally in Sioux Falls is to steal it from an unlocked car.
Why anyone would leave a firearm in an unlocked car is beyond me. I mean, if you own a firearm for protection it should be in one of two places; either on your waist or in a locked case inside your home.
We also know that if the SFPD recovers a stolen weapon used in a crime they have many resources to trace that gun back to the original owner. I think that is why many people who have a gun stolen from an unsecured location like an unlocked car probably don’t report it was stolen.
While I will defend Chief Thum that the police are usually reactionary there are things they can do;
Chief Thum says there is no simple answer to stopping gun violence. Making sure people are held accountable is one step.
“I think a lot of times people say what are police going to do, well the reality is once the trigger is pulled it kind of too late,” said Thum.
Transparency is the first thing that comes to mind, like sharing more information about what happened so residents can assist in finding the criminal. But the Chief and his information officer need to start being more vocal about where the guns are coming from and how many are being stolen in Sioux Falls due to irresponsible gun owners not locking up the weapon when not in use.
I suggested to councilor Starr a couple of years ago that the city council needs to write an ordinance that fines $1,000 to a legal gun owner if their gun is stolen and used in a crime. And I don’t mean stolen from a locked safe in the basement, but from an unlocked car in the driveway.
Like panhandlers, there is only so much you can do to stop people who commit gun violence, but if you start getting tough on the source like fining people who hand money out of the windows of their cars or people who don’t lock up their firearms properly maybe we can alleviate some of these problems.
If the sole purpose of owning a firearm legally is to protect yourself from a criminal, then why would you leave that very protection in your unlocked car? Because you are NOT a responsible gun owner and you should pay a price for your negligence.
The 2nd Amendment, like the 1st is very broad, but lawmakers have the right to regulate both of them.